Early Language Development Guides

The Children & Adults Social Care Directorate has released guides on early language development for babies, toddlers and young children.

Speech & Language Therapist, Johanna Barclay, commented:

“Supporting children’s play and communication helps lay the best possible foundation for children’s learning, and social and emotional skills. 0-5 years is a really crucial time for children’s development, and one of the best ways to support them is by joining them when they’re playing. It’s not about taking over, talking at them, or making them play in a certain way, it’s more about us being ready to respond to what they’re doing or are interested in – when they show us they’re ready.

“A lot of parents have busy lives, with work, family and other commitments, but it’s really the quality rather than the quantity that’s important here: just spending five minutes every day (with screens/radio off so there’s less distraction), sitting face to face, letting the child know you’re focused on them, and having fun together is the important thing.”

The Speech & Language Therapy (SLT) Service has adapted five leaflets (6-12 months, 1-2 years, 2 years +, Read & Rhyme anytime, and Switch it off and talk together) to promote language and communication development. The leaflets highlight the importance of play, interacting together, following the child’s lead, sharing books and rhymes, and managing screen time.

By sharing this accessible information early on, and including consistent messages, it is hoped that parents and carers will feel confident in supporting their child’s language and communication development, as this has a lot of benefits. It also gives advice about what to look out for at different ages, and about getting support if they are concerned about their child’s development.

These guides are being distributed through Island crèches, the Community Staff & Child Health Nurse, schools, and are available on the SHG website at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/government/public-information/.

If you are concerned about your child’s speech, language or communication development please do get in touch via email: johanna.barclay@sainthelena.gov.sh or tara.thomas@sainthelena.gov.sh or via tel: 23312.

The SLT Service works with children and adults of all ages, and are happy to chat through any concerns you might have.

#StHelena #AltogetherBetterForChildrenAndYoung People


11 August 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: communications@sainthelena.gov.sh